As seen during last night’s All Out pay-per-view event, Adam Cole made his AEW debut.
According to a report from Fightful, Cole’s debut with AEW didn’t come as a big surprise to many of those within WWE as they knew he wouldn’t be re-signing with the company when an internal memo was sent out last Tuesday.
One WWE source had “nothing but positive things” to say about Cole’s departure from the company and were pleased with the way he handled his surprise contract expiration and then signing a short-term agreement so he could finish his feud with Kyle O’Reilly.
For what it’s worth, no one in WWE were told by Adam Cole himself that he’d be debuting at All Out. Similar to Daniel Bryan, Cole was kept hidden backstage prior to his debut.
Cole was working on a “handshake deal” that wasn’t made official until last night. That’s the same thing that happened with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk several weeks ago. Those who “needed to know” in AEW were informed ahead of time to have merchandise and production ready for their debuts.
Additionally, the final segment of the show was being discussed with those involved late in the evening after the CM Punk vs. Darby Allin match. This is because Tony Khan wanted to keep their debuts a secret throughout the day. Due to this, nobody knew what was planned for after the match until just before the segment took place.